Federal Clerkships Worth It?

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Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:53 pm

About Me:
- Rising 3L at UVA
- GPA is 3.25 (3.0 1L year / 3.45 2L year)
- Pretty much All B+'s but wrote really good research paper and got an A and received good grades in more corporate based classes
- Worked for a Judge 1L Summer

** I am interested in knowing how competitive I am for District Courts as well as Bankrutpcy Court Clerkships. My career goals are all over the place, but corporate/securities litigation would be great if I even had a shot at District Court clerkships and obviously bankrutpcy career following a bankruptcy clerkship.

Also, if not in the running for federal, is it worth it to do a state court clerkship? If so, should I only target states that I would want to practice in?

Thanks for the help in advance, I havent done much research because I never thought I had a chance after 1L, but not just wondering if its worth the time to apply.

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:58 pm

OP Here: Also extremely interested in Delaware Chancery Court Chances -- best classes were transactional and have very good transactional background from undergrad and law school internships.

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:00 pm

No journal? No idea what class rank you are, but it can't be that high. Seriously doubt you're competitive for anything other than flyover bankruptcy/magistrate-type stuff.

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:No journal? No idea what class rank you are, but it can't be that high. Seriously doubt you're competitive for anything other than flyover bankruptcy/magistrate-type stuff. Even then, "competitive" is probably an overstatement.

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:03 pm

Unless you've got some other job--a clerkship would be a golden ticket right now for you.

If you want one you need to be applying for them. There's no reason you should not take a fed clerk if you get one.
They're incredibly difficult and competitive and you're certainly not a lock, and of course the location of your clerkship is going to determine another level of competitiveness. But you should be applying at the state level as well. If you get a state you can try and ger a federal the following year.

But clerkship > no clerkship/no other job.

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ggocat
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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby ggocat » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:03 pm

Your c s o should have a breakdown of gpa's for federal clerkship placement. You are competitive for state clerkships. Obviously not worth it if you want bankruptcy. Overall it's a worthwhile experience. What are your other options at this point? (What 2l summer?) Also yes good idea to do clerkship in the state you want to practice except maybe Deleware.

Get on it now. Some state courts are already hiring.

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:About Me:
- Rising 3L at UVA
- GPA is 3.25 (3.0 1L year / 3.45 2L year)
- Pretty much All B+'s but wrote really good research paper and got an A and received good grades in more corporate based classes
- Worked for a Judge 1L Summer

** I am interested in knowing how competitive I am for District Courts as well as Bankrutpcy Court Clerkships. My career goals are all over the place, but corporate/securities litigation would be great if I even had a shot at District Court clerkships and obviously bankrutpcy career following a bankruptcy clerkship.

Also, if not in the running for federal, is it worth it to do a state court clerkship? If so, should I only target states that I would want to practice in?

Thanks for the help in advance, I havent done much research because I never thought I had a chance after 1L, but not just wondering if its worth the time to apply.


Honestly, your odds are virtually 0 of landing a federal district court clerkship or a bankruptcy clerkship.

(1) Below median GPA is killer for anything federal. Plus, absent some sort of relevant bankruptcy experience, you'd be a hard sell for a bankruptcy judge.

(2) I think Delaware is a hard sell as well. The only '12 UVa grad I know who's going to DE Supreme Court graded onto VLR as a 3L.

(3) You have some shot at state courts - I think state supreme courts/courts of last resort would be a hard sell as well. But, I think there's a shot at state trial courts.

(4) All the above said, you should still apply for all these clerkships - there is very minimal cost involved, so its worth the shot.

dixon02
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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby dixon02 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:48 pm

Federal clerkship below median? Not gonna happen. State court clerkships in the state where you want to practice are still worthwhile from what I hear. UVA has a clerkship office...make an appointment to go in there and talk to them about your options. But federal districts and bankruptcy are out.

dixon02
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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby dixon02 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Unless you've got some other job--a clerkship would be a golden ticket right now for you.

If you want one you need to be applying for them. There's no reason you should not take a fed clerk if you get one.
They're incredibly difficult and competitive and you're certainly not a lock, and of course the location of your clerkship is going to determine another level of competitiveness. But you should be applying at the state level as well. If you get a state you can try and ger a federal the following year.

But clerkship > no clerkship/no other job.


Huh? I don't think the question is whether OP should take a federal clerkship as opposed to being unemployed. Also, the people who are candidates for federal clerkships are not likely facing unemployment. And why are you posting anon?

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:00 pm

OP Here:

I am on two secondary journals. One as an editorial board member, and one as a managing board editor. I also have experience working at a federal government agency that does a lot of transactional regulatory work (think CFTC/SEC). This summer I am working at a DA's office for half the summer and doing non-law work for the other half.

Non-law job is pretty much the best shot I have of a high paying job out of law school since law firms dont give two shits about my grade increase or my work experience. The non-law job is in a transactional related industry (think finance), so I'll have a decent amount of transactional experience when I graduate.

Obviously If I could get a Federal District court clerkship I would for sure take it, as corporate lit/plaintiffs securities lit is what I want to do, but I dont know if its possible. My buddy had an interview with a 3.35 from a peer law school with a Delaware Bank. Judge but not sure if he got it. My second semester 1L killed me, and is the only semester I actually had bad grades (if this matters at all) and it was because i hated law school and was about to quit (again, not sure if it matters at all)

thanks for the replies so far

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:02 pm

dixon02 wrote:Federal clerkship below median? Not gonna happen. State court clerkships in the state where you want to practice are still worthwhile from what I hear. UVA has a clerkship office...make an appointment to go in there and talk to them about your options. But federal districts and bankruptcy are out.


Spoke with them really quickly one time about bankruptcy and i was under the impression that I might be competitive for bankruptcy clerkships, but again, it was a drop in and i have absolutely no clue. Clerkship lady is out of town and we need to gather stuff in the next week, so i came here for now to figure out if i should do this or not waste my time.

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:About Me:
- Rising 3L at UVA
- GPA is 3.25 (3.0 1L year / 3.45 2L year)
- Pretty much All B+'s but wrote really good research paper and got an A and received good grades in more corporate based classes
- Worked for a Judge 1L Summer

** I am interested in knowing how competitive I am for District Courts as well as Bankrutpcy Court Clerkships. My career goals are all over the place, but corporate/securities litigation would be great if I even had a shot at District Court clerkships and obviously bankrutpcy career following a bankruptcy clerkship.

Also, if not in the running for federal, is it worth it to do a state court clerkship? If so, should I only target states that I would want to practice in?

Thanks for the help in advance, I havent done much research because I never thought I had a chance after 1L, but not just wondering if its worth the time to apply.


Honestly, your odds are virtually 0 of landing a federal district court clerkship or a bankruptcy clerkship.

(1) Below median GPA is killer for anything federal. Plus, absent some sort of relevant bankruptcy experience, you'd be a hard sell for a bankruptcy judge.

(2) I think Delaware is a hard sell as well. The only '12 UVa grad I know who's going to DE Supreme Court graded onto VLR as a 3L.

(3) You have some shot at state courts - I think state supreme courts/courts of last resort would be a hard sell as well. But, I think there's a shot at state trial courts.

(4) All the above said, you should still apply for all these clerkships - there is very minimal cost involved, so its worth the shot.


sorry to post three times in a row, i just saw this, but I know Del. Sup is pretty much out, only kid I know that interned there is gonna be a scotus clerk one day, but what about chancery court?

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:12 pm

nobody on here (so take my advice with a grain of salt) knows anything about clerkships. they are so incredibly random. (yes, all things being equal grades and journal memberships are probably helpful) i spoke with a guy today who got hired as a clerk because he put seinfeld on his resume and the judge loved seinfeld. Spoke to a gal who got hired as a clerk because she was from houston and went to DC for law school- hiring judge had done the same thing.

Anonymous User
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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:nobody on here (so take my advice with a grain of salt) knows anything about clerkships. they are so incredibly random. (yes, all things being equal grades and journal memberships are probably helpful) i spoke with a guy today who got hired as a clerk because he put seinfeld on his resume and the judge loved seinfeld. Spoke to a gal who got hired as a clerk because she was from houston and went to DC for law school- hiring judge had done the same thing.


Perhaps you don't know anything about clerkships. Unlike you, others of us on this board know a lot about clerkships. I would bet you that both of the random examples that you cite had the prerequisite grades/law school/rank for their clerkship. Now, why did the judge choose them out of the smaller pile of competitive clerkships? Because something stood out on their resume/transcript/whatever. But to claim that people on here (some of whom are current clerks/about to be clerks/former clerks, etc.) don't know anything about the process because of two underdeveloped anecdotes is asinine.

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:nobody on here (so take my advice with a grain of salt) knows anything about clerkships. they are so incredibly random. (yes, all things being equal grades and journal memberships are probably helpful) i spoke with a guy today who got hired as a clerk because he put seinfeld on his resume and the judge loved seinfeld. Spoke to a gal who got hired as a clerk because she was from houston and went to DC for law school- hiring judge had done the same thing.


Perhaps you don't know anything about clerkships. Unlike you, others of us on this board know a lot about clerkships. I would bet you that both of the random examples that you cite had the prerequisite grades/law school/rank for their clerkship. Now, why did the judge choose them out of the smaller pile of competitive clerkships? Because something stood out on their resume/transcript/whatever. But to claim that people on here (some of whom are current clerks/about to be clerks/former clerks, etc.) don't know anything about the process because of two underdeveloped anecdotes is asinine.


Those who are below median and get federal clerkships from UVA have professor that are willing to make calls for them. Obvs, the professor has to really like you or be willing to recommend you in that capacity.

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:01 am

When should we apply for federal clerkships?

I am a rising 3L.

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ggocat
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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby ggocat » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:When should we apply for federal clerkships?

I am a rising 3L.

Months ago for some judges. August/September for the ones following The Plan and on OSCAR.

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:11 pm

thanks for the responses. that is pretty much what i figured. I guess ill just apply to some and see what happens, pretty picky about where I want to live after graduation, so i'll see if one of my recommenders wouldn't mind hitting up a judge or two in districts/states that I like.

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:49 pm

I know a person at my T30 who wasn't even top-third at graduation who will clerk for a bankruptcy judge starting this fall. This person wasn't on a journal and had zero background in finance, banking, etc. While the clerkship isn't in a massive market (NYC, LA, Chicago, DC), it's still in a moderately large city. It leads me to conclude that bankruptcy clerkships aren't on the same level of difficulty to snag as magistrate clerkships, even.

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:43 am

x

lsatbobby
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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby lsatbobby » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:43 am

OP: Private message me, and I'll be able to give you some advice

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:33 am

Advice to everyone -- if you're flexible with your location, stalk Oscar. Last minute clerkships come up and many judges care more about your resume and research skills than how many As there are on your transcript.

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:54 am

What is Oscar?

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yuzu
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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby yuzu » Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:What is Oscar?

Image
oscar.uscourts.gov wrote:OSCAR is the central online resource for federal law clerk and appellate court staff attorney hiring.

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Re: Federal Clerkships Worth It?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:19 pm

I am currently a mag clerk. T2 school, barely top 50%, no law review. The kicker for me was that I externed in fed court for both semesters during my 3L year, and had a great LOR from my judge. I struck out with about half a dozen judges before I was finally hired. My point is this: yes, fed clerkships are extremely competitive; but there are some aberrations. Look on the websites of each district court, and you'll see their "internal job postings." Clerkships can sometimes pop up out of the blue, as did mine, and the judges are looking to fill the spot quickly. This is the best way to "back-door" your way into a job. My judge never uses OSCAR, and doesn't hire according to plan.




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